Alpine Ski Overview

Saint John's Alpine Ski Mission Statement

We strive to foster a lifelong love of skiing through ski racing. 
We strive to demonstrate in all aspects of our ski practice and racing our core values of: 

Team, Integrity, Respect, Perseverance, and Accountability

2023-2024 Season


Head Coach: Will James
Questions? Email:
Assistant Coach: Lisa Cronin

Alpine Ski Candidates Sign-up for the 2023-24 season

Alpine Ski Parents Informational Sheet - 2023-2024 Season

2024 Practice Schedule
Mondays and Wednesdays 3 - 5 pm during the winter sports season. 
Format: Dryland training until we can ski at Ward.

2024 Race Schedule 
Race Day: Seven consecutive Thursdays 7 - 9pm at Ski Ward (weather permitting) - starting January 4 2024 
Race Format (weather permitting): 10 scored races over 5 nights. The remaining two nights are for makeups and/or fun race.
Scored Race Sequence (weather permitting): GS, SL, SL, GS, SL

Criteria: Either race in one of the top eight places in one or more races throughout the season, GS or SL.  Or one of the top 12 SJ racers for the season. 
Junior Varsity:
Racers that do not race in one of the top eight places throughout the season, GS or SL.

Alpine Ski is a competitive team that races against other high school teams in the Central Massachusetts Conference Ski League. This league is comprised of teams by gender from the following high schools: Algonquin, Ashland, Hopkinton, King Phillip, Medway, St. John’s, Nipmuc, Shrewsbury, Westborough, and Wachusett. Races are held at Ski Ward (Shrewsbury, MA) and transportation is not provided. 
The top 20 racers (boys) and top 18 racers (girls) from this league will represent their school at the Alpine State Championships (Wachusett Mt or Berkshire East). A school team (by gender) is comprised of three or more racers.  

High School Racer Pass* Application ~ no pass, no ski!
*Note: the yearly price of a high school racer pass (valid for training and race days only) is subject to change.
The application details will be handed out when it is made available by Ski Ward. 
First-year skiers: Fill out and return the form with a payment of $260.00* (made out to Saint John's High School) to Mr. James (chem lab).
*Note: the yearly price of a high school racer pass (valid for training and race days only) is subject to change. 
Returning skiers: Fill out and return the form with a payment of $130.00* (made out to Saint John's High School) to Mr. James (chem lab).

Captains' Responsibilities
  • These are the “GO-TO” guys
  • Establish the lead in terms of appearance, attendance, demeanor, responsibility, and dedication to the sport.
  • Represent the interests of their teammates in dealing with officials during a race (direct to coach).
  • Represent the team at official functions, fundraising events, awards nights, etc.
  • Assemble and organize the team and conduct the warm-up routines before each practice/race.
  • Assemble and organize the team and conduct the cool-down routines after each practice/race.
  • Maintain decorum within the team; take charge when teammates are out-of-line; keep the team focused.
  • Inform the coach of situations that are unsafe or not in the best interest of the team.
  • Tryouts 
    • All athletes who try out are accepted for the team. All athletes must attend all practices and races to remain on the team.
  • Practices 
    • 3:00 - 5:00 pm. Monday and Wednesday throughout the season depending on snow conditions at Ward Hill. Dryland training is conducted in the Fall. Races will be on Thursday.
  • Races
    • Races will start at 7 pm sharp on Thursdays unless otherwise noted. We will meet at Ski Ward at 6:15 pm.
    • If you miss a start you will go last on both runs.
    • Any athlete who does not follow the rules of Ski Ward at any time will not be allowed to race that week. Safety bar must be down at all times – This will serve as your warning this year. Tickets will be pulled by the Ward Hill Ski Patrol.
Cancellation Policy
If 3 or more schools cancel due to inclement weather, the race will be canceled. The cut-off time for this decision is 12 noon the day of the race.

Slalom and/or GS skis, racing helmet, racing suit (optional)

CMSL Rules
  • The overriding authority for all rules is the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, MIAA.
  • Individual Schools are responsible for establishing eligibility guidelines for their participating athletes.
  • The race season will generally begin after the Christmas vacation and finish prior to the February vacation. The State Championship Race will typically take place in late February.
  • The season will consist of a 5-6 race schedule. One makeup date will be scheduled.
  • Weather permitting; a minimum of 2 slalom races 2 Giant Slalom races will be scheduled.
  • All team rosters are to be submitted to the race director one week prior to the start of the scheduled first race. All rosters will become final after the first race.
  • The timing shack will be off-limits for athletes once the race has commenced.
  • Racers must possess a valid lift ticket/pass and abide by all ski area rules.
  • No snow blades or shorties.
  • Skis should be at least 155cm. Twin tips are discouraged as they are not designed for racing.
  • Helmets manufactured for ski racing are required for all competitors during practice and races. The CMCSL neither specifies nor recommends any particular brand name or helmet design and undertakes no responsibility or liability in connection with the requirements that helmets be utilized. It is the sole responsibility of the competitor to select an appropriate helmet for accident protection in ski racing.
  • Caution: The protective qualities of all safety helmets are affected by age and use. Some older helmets and any helmets that have been damaged either in a racing fall or from other impact may no longer provide sufficient protection – even with no visible signs of damage.
  • All racers must wear their assigned school-supplied bibs only. Saint John's High School 100 – 199

Course Setting
  • All League courses will be Slalom or Giant Slalom and will be approved by each team coach or representative before the race.
  • Courses will be pairs of gates, set in combinations of red and blue. Gates used will be FIS certified gates.
  • If a closed gate combination is used, it should be set with an over the top entry.
  • The course should be smooth and have a natural flow. If a rhythm change is used due to terrain change, try to make the change gradual.
  • The last two gates will be set so as to lead the racer as close to a straight line through the finish as possible.
  • Flushes, Hairpins, Under-gates will be used to a reasonable extent.
  • In the event the course needs to be changed once the race has begun all racers will rerun.

Race Policies
  • Course Inspection: It is the racers right and responsibility to inspect the course according to the rules set forth below:
  • Course will be open for inspection one-half hour from posted race start time. Prior to this, the course is considered CLOSED.
  • Race start times will be set at the Coaches meeting prior to his first race of the season.
  • Racers will inspect the course by slipping sideways through the gates. In no case will turns be linked or any part of the course skied. Do not snowplow through the course (unless directed to do so). No practice turns!
  • The course may not be shadowed. (I.e. skiing next to the course in rhythm with the gates)
  • Any racer failing to adhere to the above will be subject to disqualification.
  • Bibs will be worn and clearly visible during course inspection.

  • It is the racers' responsibility to be at the start based on race seeding. A printed start order will be posted in the lodge and given to all coaches.
  • Any racer missing their start will run last.
  • Do not crowd the starting gate.
  • Keep personal belongings clear of other skiers coming off the chair lift
  • The starter will announce “racer ready”. Stand back from the gate if you are not ready. Otherwise, the starter will continue with “3-2-1- GO” Timing will begin automatically when the skier trips the start wand.
  • Start order for the second run will be the same order as the first run.
  • Racers without their assigned school-supplied bib will not race.

Course Rules
  • The race will consist of either a Giant slalom or Slalom. Events will be designated prior to the start of the season but may change based on snow or weather conditions. It is the coach’s responsibility to inform racers of the rules set forth below and the rules germane to the MIAA. Racers who violate these rules may be disqualified. However, in most cases, the racer will run and a decision will be rendered by the jury at the end of the race.
  • If a competitor feels that he/she has suffered from interference on the course, he/she must ski out of the course immediately and request a provisional run from the finish line judge or any gate judge, explaining the specific problem and location. The Chief of Course will give immediate instruction. The judges will determine the validity of the claim in a subsequent meeting, according to the rules relating to reruns. If the racer skis through the finish the run stands.
  • A re-run will generally be awarded to a racer who overtakes another racer, is interfered with by unauthorized individuals on the course, or an authorized individual such as a gatekeeper who fails to clear the course one gate prior to the racer on course. A gatekeeper may, however, support a pole in place at arm's length during the run.
  • A re-run will be awarded automatically even if the racer skis through the finish if a gate has not been re-set
  • A binding release occurring more than two gates above the finish (3 including the finish) shall be considered a clear disqualification.
  • A racer who is clearly disqualified for missing a gate or gates may not continue through further gates on the course or through the finish. The chief of Course may instigate disciplinary sanctions to competitors who violate this rule.
  • If any racer protests the decision of a race official, he/she must submit a written protest and post a $10 dollar bond. If the protest is denied the bond is forfeited.
  • Any racer losing a ski(s) on the course is expected to expeditiously clear the course.
  • All racers must possess a valid ticket from the ski area and abide by all rules and regulations as posted by the ski area in order to compete. Violations will be subject to DSQ.
  • It is the responsibility of each Jury Member to be vigilant and enforce the League rules. It is not the responsibility of individual racers to take on the job of rule enforcement.
  • All racers will promptly clear the finish area after completing their run.
  • All racers will conduct themselves in a sportsman-like manner when in the finish line area, as well as on other parts of the course

  • Scoring will be used to determine individual athlete's rank within the league and to determine school rank at individual races.
  • Total individual points will be cumulative and used to determine the top 10 athletes that will attend the State Championship.
  • In the event of a tie, both athletes will be given the same point total for that finish and the points for the next lower finish will be deleted. (E.g. a tie for third place will result in both racers receiving 19 Points. The next finisher will receive 5th place points or 16)
  • Each race will generally consist of two individually scored runs. In some cases (snow conditions) a race will only have one run. All racers will race both runs except when designated as a JV team member. Points from each individual run will be combined to determine the top 5 scorers on each team but will be recorded individually in the athletes running point total.
  • At the end of the season, point-scoring to determine the league top ten will be calculated by removing the athlete's lowest score in each event (SL and GS), regardless of the finish. The remaining scores will be added to determine the total points. If there are less than 4 scored runs in any event, then the lowest score in that event Will Not be dropped.
  • Tiebreaker for the top ten will be the best finish followed by second-best finish and so on until the tie is broken.

Team scoring
  • The top 5 point scorers from each team will be used to calculate team points for the race by using the combined scores in a two run race. The team with the most cumulative points at the end of the season will be the League Champion. In the event of a tie, a win/loss record will be used.
  • The CMCSL Champion and runner-up will automatically qualify for the State Championship. Any racer finishing in the top ten in the league will attend the State Championship as an independent if not on a qualifying team.
  • Schools that qualify for the State Championship may send 6 athletes. Of those 6, any athlete that finishes in the top ten of the league must be on the team roster. After those positions are filled the school may send the athlete(s) of its choice. The 6th racer will be designated as an alternate unless that racer finished in the top ten in the league. In that case, the athlete will race as an independent unless called upon to fulfill his/her duties as an alternate on the team. If any school has more than 6 athletes in the league top ten it may choose any 6 for the team. The rest, (including the alternate) will race as independents.
  • Any racer who DSQ’s, DNF’s or DNS will be given 0 points for that run only.
Race Results
  • Any results posted on a leader board or website are unofficial.
  • Race results will be available to coaches within 30 minutes of the race finish.
  • Race results will be posted at usually by 9:00 pm.
  • The #1 priority for the race season should be GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP. It does not happen accidentally. It takes a lot of hard work, advanced planning, a great deal of courage, and dedication.
  • The following MIAA policy statement should serve as your guide for high school activities and athletics:

“The ideals of good sportsmanship, ethical behavior, and integrity permeate our culture. The values of good citizenship and high behavioral standards apply equally to all activity disciplines. In perception and practice, good sportsmanship shall be defined as those qualities of behavior, which are characterized by generosity and genuine concern for others. Further, awareness is expected of the impact of an individual’s influence on the behavior of others. Good sportsmanship is viewed by the Ski Committee as a concrete measure of the understanding and commitment to fair play, ethical behavior, and integrity.”